Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Feb 27:
In a shocking incident, Sambalpur Police last night whisked off many women workers and leaders of BJP and Congress from their houses and detained them at the police station all night long on the eve of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s tour to Sambalpur today.
While a source in the police said that the step was taken as a preventive measure on the eve of the high profile visit, many legal experts called the detention illegal as they were taken away at night and detained in the police station.
Even though security was beefed up throughout the town today anticipating stiff protest by BJP and Congress workers, BJP workers retaliated by hurling eggs on the Mahila Police Station and Congress workers were seen holding demonstrations at various parts of the town.
“What is the Naveen Government so afraid of after spending 15 years in office? They raid our houses and forcefully detain us in a police station all night long. Is this the ‘respect to mother’ the Chief Minister and BJD talk about,” questioned a BJP worker.
BJP National Secretary Suresh Pujari said that the action of the government indicates that the “doomsday is imminent”.
“Earlier the Chief Minister used to be popular. That is the reason the police didn’t have to worry about detaining women at midnight. The police action now is a clear indicator of the popularity of Chief Minister and ruling BJD,” said a Congress worker.
Notably, in his day-long tour of the town, the Chief Minister today inaugurated various welfare projects including Freedom Fighters’ Memorial Bhawan and Museum at the Shankar Sahani Park and a shopping complex in the Maa Samaleshwari Temple compound.
He also laid foundation stones for nine projects worth Rs 72 crore including a drainage development project at Dhobijore Canal that has been planned to be built at a cost of Rs 48.02 crore.
Further, the Chief Minister announced Rs five crore assistance for the welfare of the Kendu leaf pickers and various other welfare measures for over 20,000 construction workers of the districts.